May 16, 2023 - News

The Indiana books representing the state at a national festival

The cover of a book with a dog, a box and a little girl

Grace gets a new friend in "Grace and Box." Photo: Arika Herron/Axios

Young female protagonists are at the heart of two books by Hoosier-born authors representing Indiana in the nation's capital this year.

Driving the news: Indiana's chapter of the Library of Congress Center for the Book selected Tess Gunty's "The Rabbit Hutch" and Kim Howard's "Grace and Box" to represent the state at this year's National Book Festival.

Zoom in: Each year, the Indiana Center for the Book has selected a title to represent the state at the festival and on the Library of Congress' Great Reads from Great Places list.

  • Last year, the center chose two books — a children's title and an adult selection, Suzanne Walker, the center's director, told Axios.
  • The selected books must have an author who has a connection to the state, a plot set here or some other Hoosier tie.
  • Other recent selections include "Zorrie" by Laird Hunt, "You Should See Me in a Crown" by Leah Johnson and "The Season of Styx Malone" by Kekla Magoon.

Catch up quick: "The Rabbit Hutch," inspired by Gunty's childhood in South Bend, won the National Book award for fiction last year.

  • Bloomington-based Howard won last year's Indiana Author's Award in the children’s category for "Grace and Box," the story of a young girl who befriends the box that delivers her family's new refrigerator.
  • "It's a beautiful story about imagination," Walker said.

What's next: The 2023 National Book Festival is Aug. 12 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

  • 🏁 Each state has a booth at the festival and attendees get a map where they can collect stickers and stamps from each state — Indiana's is a checkered flag, naturally.

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